Angelic reverses

So what finally is the last stronghold before the “face of evil”? We can easily say what it’s not. It is not a reverse of the face of good. Because reverse is a shadow veiling the obverse of a face by revealing something closely resembling it. But that which resembles, can never really be the thing it resembles. Symbols of public discourse in this world are bereft of content so their meanings can always be reversed into opposites. Those who are so naive, or vain, to see true faces in them are accepting the role in a theatre of shadows generated by media lanterna magica. It’s hard to blame them, because isn’t it the ultimate dream come true for every philistine, even if he wears a Che Guevarra T-shirt, to act out most grievous of moral dilemmas as shadowplay on the wall of the dimly lit living room?

Best-Scary-Horror-Images-5-300x280Evasive manoeuvres It’s been some hundred years or so now, that sympathy towards children is universally accepted as humanity’s last stronghold before, as they call it, “face of evil”. From the first public steps of putting the child, taken as a value per se, to the fore, to UNICEF campaigns and Spielberg’s movies, bosom of Western public is slowly but surely being filled with love of little toddlers. However, this container is known to be of somewhat restricted volume and here and there the spill-over is unavoidable. So today, when media lamentation over some pogrom or cataclysm necessarily culminates with pointing out the “suffering children”, or camera lens on site of calamity starts prowling for tear-smeared infant’s face, one begins to feel a tad irritated. Whence so inconvenient an emotion over innocent victims? Is it an introduction to a new age of cruelty, when last strongholds of humanity will give way and go tumbling down?

Perhaps it is, but just when the strongholds were stable in the first place? However, for the sake of discussion, let’s define the terms. We assume that love presupposes the person, i.e. the being which recognizes it’s own uniqueness and transfers it to others. On the contrary, ‘the public’ presupposes that no person is so unique as to be safe from getting just a little bit drenched in the faceless mass. If we compare the two definitions, it is obvious that there is something intrinsically unreliable in “public being in love” with anything, let alone children. And why should then expression ‘public love’ be any less degrading than ‘public house’, or why would ‘public child’ be any less taboo than ‘public woman’? If so, who or what are these ‘public children’, experiencing ‘public love’?

It’s easy to say who or what they certainly are not. Everybody who really loves children, especially their spontaneous, and often very serious, way of talking, knows that in these times one cannot afford spontaneity towards the children when chance encounter happens, as was fairly normal before. Today, chance conversation with a strange kid on the street provokes underlying uneasiness. For questions are ever just beneath the surface: “What will people say? Can this be taken in the wrong way?” And so, with no great effort, we came close to our answer. These rhetoric expressions of anxiety represent in fact the act of bending low before the Public. They describe someone ever alert to a strict gaze of an eye keeping watch over unnamed – one should assume: every child. And ‘every’, meaning at the same time ‘not a single one’, child is a ‘public child’ we are looking for. It has no particular name or face, so it can bear any name or any appearance – in the best case scenario, it can be the face from the front page of National Geographics – but undeniably exercises an influence on human thought and action. Such bodiless entity, canalizing the consciousness and praxis can be defined as a symbol.

There is still another eidolon whose blessing is a necessary condition of speaking or acting in public: symbolic love is doubtlessly present in public nods to “innocence” and “victimhood”. Every analysis hits the brakes, when it comes too close to a necropolis of “innocent victims”, every spearhead of critique is blunted through expressions of reservation intended to ward off the eventual misunderstanding. Reservations and apologizes are repeated according to established frame of reference and strict Canon, allowing no wrong steps. Any mistake that can provoke public consternation, and end up in undesirable effect, must be meticulously avoided. However, there’s a problem. The whole affair looks dangerously similar to invoking the heavens or the underworld, thrice spitting when black cat crosses one’s path or avoiding doing anything on Friday the 13th. Plain and simple: it is a ritual. And when phraseology is deconstructed, almost every ritual act before the symbol is unequivocally a magical act. Magic itself demands even greater care about details than scientific procedure, because the sole act is a purpose in itself: the belief is laid upon phrases and formulas as if they contain intrinsic strength to force reality into obedience. If we are to strip it to bare essentials, than it appears to be a refined, although seemingly absurd, act of strategy: usually an evasive manoeuvre.

Rituals of the Public Bearing in mind that love and compassion are not very useful in

izvor:http://display-wallpapers.blogspot.com/

izvor:http://display-wallpapers.blogspot.com/

strategizing, this really looks odd. Is than obligatory public ritual merely a matter of politeness? Perhaps, but it seems overly expensive, given such trifle purpose. The exhaustion caused by magical act must in the end force the thought, whose energy it spends, to take a nap. And when it comes to that, concepts become vague images, reverses replace obverses and pursuit of truth becomes a dream; the eyes are not only half- but wide shut to reality. If we are aware that conscience is an intimate, personal, “call” and that betwixt caller and the called there is no difference, than any ritual of apologizes or reservations is by definition not only superfluous, but also highly suspect. So, bearing this in mind, we really shouldn’t think that all those phrases of polite politicians and “opinion makers” are addressed solely to us. Whenever some of them get too close to a thin ice of manipulating the “sensitive” subjects, their words are primarily directed to themselves, all in an attempt to magically defeat the uneasiness of stepping on ice beneath which lies the abyss of incorrectness. But all that fuss about “sincere condemnations”, “resolute reservations” and appeals to “us all” and “our responsibility” is really superfluous. In the long run, no one can fool or circumvent the conscience. Uncertainty of ritual is only a reliable sign of careful manoeuvre attempting just that. It is a testimony to a fact that one’s thinking is no longer completely autonomous, i.e. that it is being passed on in the hands of some outside agent, who in turn offers a treacherous tranquillity of ready-made attitudes. Those attitudes are still, as they say, “politically correct”, but when observed in their essence – or better still, lack of it – it is obvious that they can effortlessly be reversed into their own opposites. They are the Trojan horse, the present given by the entity called “public mind” or “public opinion”.

Public mind is the ruling idol of collective, “our”, conscience – of that which mass media sometimes qualify as “all of us” – and it can be appeased and put to sleep quite easily. That’s, if you bother to read small print, written on it’s very label. It exists in order to canalize mental images, urges and attitudes of groups in the direction desirable to it’s owner. There is no other purpose to it. One among the clear signs of the fact is the sleepy irritation we mentioned at the outset. Doubtless, there are many people who feel irresistible urge to slap one of those all-too-smart and all-too-mature Spielbergian kids, or direct a few curses at some victim group over whose sad fate they are obliged to be ritually concerned. If one latter happens to find himself scandalized over his own reaction, which in turn will lead him to really examine his own conscience, radicalized finally in the question: “Who am I, really?”, than it is the only valuable result of over-exposure to public mind. It comes to pass due to infatuation with ritual causing the moment to come when man has to ask himself, to what measure are his sympathy, compassion and his moral standing really his own. This fear of one’s own self, if not exactly the beginning of wisdom, is at least the end of snivelling.

izvor:http://www.1001-votes.com/

izvor:http://www.1001-votes.com/

Angels and demons Let us develop the assertion on standard combo specimen of moral tranquilizer: public love for children and innocent victims usually travel in pair. There are many instances of this, but here is how it usually goes: man seeking the victim status for himself expresses, as a rule, peculiar love towards children. When someone is devising effective victimization strategy, we can rest assured that somewhere in the deepest layer – in the last ditch of it’s futile logic – we find buried a child or group of children. Morbid? Oh, yes. But very, very effective. Innocence, unspoken assumption in the defence of every guilty party, is symbolically closely knit with an image of a child. So we can often hear a saying about “inner child” as a last true argument on behalf of intrinsic value of every human being. Even designated bogeyman Hitler was, as they say, a child at one time. Perhaps naughty, yet still a child. Sometimes it is enough to imagine such publicly archived demon sucking his thumb and holding a teddy-bear to put a man in doubt. A strange sympathy awakes, even weltschmmertz-like mourning over dark forces of this world turning people from little Baroque angels into demons. However, these sentiments are nothing but unmistakeable symptoms of succumbing to emotional blackmail. Mature man knows that bear is a fierce beast – almost as much as Teddy Roosevelt was a fierce American president – and that favourite children’s games are imitations of cruellest games grownups play. The innocence lies in ignorance and underdeveloped conscience – absence of any kind of excuse – for which the children are, of course, forgiven, under assumption that advance of maturity and development of innate potential for sympathy will lead to overgrowing them. Hence the succumbing to emotional blackmail provides a payoff: the victim of blackmail is himself becoming childish, so he can exchange his renunciation of conscience and knowledge of oneself for “conscience” and “knowledge”; he can play the walk-on part in the farce of public life. He can be a public spectacle extra, expressing condemnations and reservations, passing judgments and praises, blessings and damnations. And be guaranteed to come into possession of excuses for his ever-day misdemeanours.

Obverse and reverse Well, observing this sublime trade, one has to wonder, is it true that nothing is for free in our day and age? No, not exactly. Because if we are so naive as to take this outpourings of humanity as a signs of goodness or at least good intentions, and not as a moral tranquilizer or opportunism, than one must conclude that at least the road to hell is being paved for free.
But walking down that road has a price. Symbols are not beings of flesh and blood, but are undoubtedly real, if we define reality as that which gives resistance to arbitrary action and judgment. In that sense it is not entirely correct to say that symbolic love is unreal. It is all too real, i.e. it can very well force somebody to act in a certain way and, still more important, force him to think in a certain way. But it is not what it claims to be. It is not love. The same goes for other symbolic, public, entities as “compassion”, “apologizes”, “innocent victim”, “child”, etc. They are constructed with definite purpose, to obscure the original by the display of it’s counterfeit; to hide the obverse by presenting the reverse. For if they really were what they propose to be, than the left hand would know what the right hand is doing. No one could advocate freedoms and rights of the child, sexual minorities and bowing before long gone pogroms, and at the same time continue implementing the media and economical politics of social disintegration which effectively prevent the development of moral consciousness they apparently claim to nourish. Why they speak about education and evolution of society, when by their acts they uproot it’s very foundations? Why they push atomized individuals to, not only economical, but also extreme moral individualism? And where can one claim his place in the society if he is unable to accept virtual morality, all that “apologizing”, “compassion” and “tolerance”? The one who can’t contain all the profound depth of his feeling of life and responsibility between quotation marks, and cannot allow himself such ethical – indeed: aesthetical – defeat as to identify with some of those professional media “multiplicators”, preaching and warning “all of us” of things they so effectively hide from themselves?

So what finally is the last stronghold before the “face of evil”? We can easily say what it’s not. It is not a reverse of the face of good. Because reverse is a shadow veiling the obverse of a face by revealing something closely resembling it. But that which resembles, can never really be the thing it resembles. Symbols of public discourse in this world are bereft of content so their meanings can always be reversed into opposites. Those who are so naive, or vain, to see true faces in them are accepting the role in a theatre of shadows generated by media lanterna magica. It’s hard to blame them, because isn’t it the ultimate dream come true for every philistine, even if he wears a Che Guevarra T-shirt, to act out most grievous of moral dilemmas as shadowplay on the wall of the dimly lit living room?

“From half past seven P.M. to half past eleven P.M. on TV: examine your soul and build your attitude for the next day. Tomorrow, you can “condemn” … or something. Hold on to your remote and slippers and don’t get up except in grave danger.”

Man accepting the rules of this game, i.e. the one who can’t see that “public love”, “public morality”, as well as their objects like “public child”, in fact do not exist, should know that he is at the same time obliged to discard the things found between the quotation marks. Because, if reverse of the face always tends to maximally hide the obverse, by seeking to become ever more similar to it, than the face of evil threatening our strongholds should be a reverse of the face of good. It should be, therefore, a “stronghold” of the good. If we want to know how it should look like, why, that’s easy. It is an angelic reverse.

Branko Malić

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